Dr. Stephen Lowell Swisher
Twenty nine years ago Rodney King asked a question that reverberated across our Nation. For late night comedians it was a source of humor. But for any serious, clear thinking American desirous of hope, peace and authentic relationships it rang as true as if it resounded from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia 200 years before.
This question in some form or another has been asked since the beginning of time. Maybe you are asking the same thing in your life today.
The answer to this timeless question is both simple and profound at the same time.
Like any good attorney in a Courtroom scenario this question can only be answered with a question.
I have traveled across our Country and literally around the World and have found people to be basically the same regardless of street address, background or bank account. We all want to be appreciated, respected and valued for what we bring to the table. When the opposite occurs society begins to unravel.
The Bible put it this way "strive for peace with everyone." The word strive indicates it's not always easy to do it takes effort and intentionality. But the benefit is a culture that works and rises to the level our ancestors invisioned."
Jesus gave us more clarity in the First Century by exhorting us to "Love God with all of your heart and Love your neighbor as yourself.
I like the way my mother, former Director of EEOC, describes the people of our Nation. "America is not a melting pot. Because that means everyone boils down to the same color, flavor and consistency devoid of individualism, heritage and meaning. Rather we are a salad bowl representing different colors, flavors, zest and uniqueness.
When we approach America and each other in this way we will see each encounter with another as an adventure of exploration, significance and learning.
This shift in our point of view will position each of us at the table of grace and usher in a breakthrough that may lead to Peace on Earth and goodwill to all.
Let's all join in this worthwhile endeavor today.
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